Publication details

Itinéraires romantiques: l’Illyrie dans "Jean Sbogar" de Charles Nodier, la Bohême dans "Les Gitans" de Karel Hynek Mácha

Title in English Romantic itineraries: Illyria in Charles Nodier's "Jean Sbogar", Boheme in Karel Hynek Mácha's "The Gypsies"


Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Jean Sbogar. Le bicentenaire d’un roman majeur du romantisme. Atelier du XIXe siecle de la SERD
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Romantiscism; folklrore; historicity
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Description Heir to a double tradition, that of the gothic novel and that of the historical novel, Charles Nodier's Jean Sbogar participates in the literary trend that swept the continent at the turn of the 19th century and shaped, as far as Central and Eastern Europe, a popular literature of fiction that reconciles fiction and ideologies at the crossroads of the adventure novel and folkloric expression, of gothic procedures and the historical-political narrative. Beyond the simple reworking of a news item or the expression of a golden age, the imaginary construction is built up for the benefit of the historical meaning of the narrative. Inscribed in the landscape of the Illyrian provinces, it bears witness in its own way to the "national awakenings", which crystallise the political, linguistic and literary aspirations of populations subjected to the authority of more powerful nations. Under the pen of the man who was also a librarian in Laybach and director of the provincial newspapers, the novelistic presence of the folklore of these regions responds to the identity ambitions of the first "awakeners" inspired both by Herder's philosophy and by the scope of the Ossianic songs. This is what justifies its comparison with "The Gypsies" ("Cikáni") by the Czech novelist Karel Hynek Mácha. Cultural studies show that in these novels the interweaving of fictional narrative based on the avatars of the Gothic genre and the illusion of verisimilitude constructs the historicity of a text in a different way than the mimetic representation of events. In this way, Jean Sbogar initiates a popular and critical romanticism that will be pursued by other novelists in the 19th century.
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